Working and Shopping in Berkeley
Stopping to smell— and buy— the flowers in Downtown Berkeley
Small Businesses. Big Dreams.
Have you ever passed through a new neighborhood and thought to yourself, “I should come back by here, when I have more time.”
It’s time to make time. Cities all over the U.S. are struggling to create pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, but in Berkeley, you can already visit a grocery store, a post office and an art studio within a few blocks.
“Department stores and malls go wide, but not deep,” said Michael Caplan, head of economic development. “Berkeley has an incredible range of specialty stores, and they’re full of local people who are really passionate about their products and their services. That’s what local businesses are all about: They build community.”
The village-like character of many Berkeley neighborhoods also makes it easy to get outside, meet neighbors, support local businesses and get errands done all at once.
Why else should you shop in Berkeley? Because there are great things to buy. Whether you like vintage clothes, role-playing games, cake-making supplies, or just a good cup of coffee, it’s right outside your door.
For more information, call Economic Development at 981-7530 or scroll down this page for more information about Berkeley's retail areas.
Did you know? Berkeley has nearly 100 sustainable businesses that market environmental projects or services. In addition, there are more than 50 companies that maintain eco-efficient operations in all sectors, including restaurants, auto repair, printing and light industrial manufacturing.
The City installed a mural of long-time Berkeley activist Maudelle Shirek outside Council Chambers. The mural was created by artists Daniel Galvez and Mildred Howard. Click the picture above for a picture of the whole mural or read the press release for more information.
Berkeley is a Regional Destination for the Arts
Art in Berkeley isn’t just for locals any more.
With more than 140 arts groups in the city, Berkeley has become a major cultural destination for people all over the Bay Area. We’ve become a great place to create and attend all kinds of performance and display arts.
Downtown draws visitors to Cal Performances, the Tony-award winning Berkeley Rep, the Jazz School, but the arts scene isn’t limited to the university and Addison St.
Filmmakers and industrial artists have found a home in West Berkeley, for example, and the City is working with arts and business groups to preserve and enhance the arts focus of the area.
Ashby Avenue is another anchor for Berkeley arts and is home to many groups, including La Pena, the Black Repertory Group and Epic Arts.
The future for Berkeley arts is robust. By the end of the year, the Freight and Salvage, a music venue, will break ground on their new location on Addison, and UC’s Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive are planning a new downtown home. The new Center St. Parking Garage will make it even easier to take in a play or hear a band.
The City also gives grants and commissions public art that can be enjoyed by all.
For more information about art around town, call Civic Arts at 981-7530.